Viewing posts tagged racism

Emergency Anti-Fascist Shabcast 3 (Hugo Awards)

Shabcast 3 was supposed to be the second part of my discussion with Josh Marsfelder.  (Here's part 1 of that discussion.)  But events have intervened.  Now, Josh and I will carry on our talk in Shabcast 4 (hopefully out quite soon... so you'll probably get two Shabcasts this month, you lucky blighters).  Shabcast 3, meanwhile, has been devoted to an emergency, hastily-convened discussion between myself, Phil Sandifer and Andrew Hickey on the subject of the recent right-wing incursion upon the Hugo Awards.

Download Shabcast 3 here (thanks once again to the Pex Lives guys for donating their bandwidth).  We do a fair bit of fash-lambasting, and Andrew especially gives lots of background to this particular issue, but we also find time to roam and rove a bit around some related topics, such as modernism and postmodernism and geek privilege and GamerGate and "what is SFF anyway???".

Andrew and Phil have both blogged about the Hugos issue (which is why I asked them to speak to me about it), and here are some more links...

Here's Charlie Jane Anders at io9.

One of the movers behind this business is the utterly reprehensible fascist ...

Do You Ever Just Feel Tired?

In the wake of the Chapel Hill murders, people of Left-wing persuasion have been doing a lot of talking about the double standards which are applied to murder when it's Muslims being murdered by non-Muslims rather than the other way round.  All very true.  If a Muslim had been the murderer in Chapel Hill, and his victims had been non-Muslim, we'd now be hearing the mainstream media (let alone the conservative media) talking about 'terrorism', the pundits would be giving us their standard reheated 'clash of civilisations' rhetoric, pontificating about the inherently violent nature of Islam, asking Muslim 'community leaders' to address the cancer of extremism in their midst, etc etc etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.  Hell, Charles Windsor might even open his empty head again to release some more racist platitudes about the need for Muslims to 'conform' to 'our values' (there is no 'us' or 'we' or 'our', Mr Windsor.  Please fuck off).  There certainly wouldn't be anybody desperately trying to spin the murders as nothing more than a dispute over a parking space, or the product of the singular demons of a lone nut.

But we don't actually need to theorise what might ...

Déjà bloody vu

I was going to do this post all over again... (this is what we do with Palestine: say the same bloody things over and over again, because the same bloody things keep happening over and over again)... but Richard Seymour has already done it for me, very succintly.


(EDIT: I originally posted a screencap of Seymour's tweet of a screencap.  But Seymour has now posted the original screencap itself on his blog.  So it seems only fair to remove my screencap of his tweet and just link to him.  Not that he needs hits from me.)

The aliens... They're just so... alien

J.K. Rowling recently reignited the Potterite shipping-wars by saying that she should never have coupled Ron with Hermione.

Among the things she apparently doesn't regret putting into the world's most widely-read/seen Fantasy franchise of recent decades are the following:

  • Gold-obsessed Goblin bankers with big noses and a nigh-communistic inability to comprehend or respect 'human' notions of private property.
  • A race of willing slaves with brown skin, huge rolling eyes and 'pickaninny' speech patterns.
  • Giants who are born savage and thick, and who live in 'primitive' tribes.

Lest it be thought that I'm singling Rowling out for special snark, let me broaden this out immediately.  The SF/Fantasy genre, as a whole, contains a discourse of race that represents a peculiarly insidious reflection of racial ideology.  Race pervades these genres as a category.  Tolkien's Middle Earth is full of different 'races'.  The world of Star Trek is full of different 'races'.  The world of Doctor Who is full of different 'races'.  Just think how often we are assailed with 'races' in Fantasy that can be told apart by both physical characteristics (the blonde hair of the Thals, the crinkly ...

Snow Job

To me, the most striking thing about the racist Christmas card circulated by the British National Party (or the Keystone Stormtroopers, as I like to call them), is how utterly mainstream it looks.




There is clearly a racist message here because

a) it's being circulated by a racist party of fascist Nazi racist racists,

and

b) because of the oh-so-clever hidden subtext of the phrase 'white Christmas' that Cyclops/Fuhrer Dickibegyourpardonnick Griffin's reichschancellory full of political geniuses have cryptically woven into it.

But, as Metro have pointed out, it's an altered stock image, also used by thoroughly mainstream publications.

The Aryan child - pale and blonde and blue-eyed - is still the vanilla standard of beauty and innocence in the aesthetic system that capitalism calls Christmas.  Mainstream adverts and cards will engage in tokenism so as to simperingly hook in with sentimenal one-world platitudes, and sell to more than just white people, but non-white faces are still the variety sprinkled around the white standard.

It's not the young model's fault, of course.  She's just peddled her own image in a system of bodily commodification (as we all must peddle ourselves, one way or another ...

Footstamping

Rich, white, male kid.  Drunk driving.  Killed and maimed people.  Got off with probation because he suffers from "affluenza".  Essentially, he couldn't help doing it because he was too privileged to know better.

It's so obvious, really, isn't it?  Shouldn't even need saying.  But.  Imagine a black person, a poor person, in the same position.  Would they be gently treated because society deprived them?  I'm not saying I want a 16 year old kid to be sent to one of those privatised totalitarian hellhole gulags that America calls 'prisons' for 20 years (though it would be a sharp lesson for him in what it feels like to be an ethnic minority, since those prisons are mostly stuffed with poor people, who are mostly people of colour).  I'm just pointing out the disparity.

Compare with the treatment of Glenn Broadnax.   Compare what happened to Zimmerman with what happened to Marissa Alexander (she is at least getting a new trial).

Things like that happen in their thousands every day.  I could fill up all the free memory Blogger has given me just describing, in ...

5

"I know it sounds mad," says Martha, "but when the Doctor became human, he took the alien part of himself and he stored it inside the watch. It's not really a watch, it just looks like a watch."

"And 'alien' means 'not from abroad', I take it," enquires the frankly incredulous Joan.

"The man you call John Smith... he was born on another world."

"A different species."

"Yeah."

Joan is a sensible woman from 1913 and she's not having any of this nonsense.

"Then tell me," she presses, "in this fairy tale, who are you?"

"Just a friend. I'm not... I mean, you haven't got a rival, as much as I might... Just his friend."

"And human, I take it?"

She humouring the deranged girl.  As John said earlier, it must be culture shock.  Someone from a less developed culture trying and failing to understand the scientific romances of an ordinary school teacher... an ordinary school teacher, by the way, with whom she is far too familiar.

"Human," confirms Martha, "Don't worry. And more than that: I just don't follow him around. I'm training to be a doctor. Not an alien ...

24

"The colonists shouldn't be here," says Dent. "My Corporation has been assigned the mineral rights on this planet. Our preliminary survey indicates a very rich concentration of duralinium. You know how the Earth needs that mineral."

"Earth, or your corporation's profits?" asks the Doctor.

Dent and his mining corporation will go on to prove that they will do literally anything, including mass murder, to obtain the duralinium they want.

"What's good for IMC is good for Earth," says Dent, echoing a famous statement once made in the real world.  "There are one hundred thousand million people back on Earth and they desperately need all the minerals we can find."

"What those people need, my dear sir," asserts the Doctor, "are new worlds to live in like this one. Worlds where they can live like human beings, not battery hens."

What nobody mentions during this conversation, or during any of the conversations anybody has about the controversy, is the notion that no non-Uxarians might have the right to appropriate Uxarius.  There are people already living there, you see.  But those people don't count.  They're "primitives".

This story is a reiteration of Western ...

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